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Keep informed and focused as the feathers fly

Editor’s note: This article was written by guest blogger Anthony Cirillo, FACHE, ABC, a healthcare marketing and experience management expert and expert guide in assisted living for about.com. For more information about the author, please see our About page.

Yes, Republicans won the House and are threatening to block all legislation until some of the Bush tax cuts are preserved. And yes, on their agenda is healthcare reform repeal.

You want my opinion? Don’t expect it to happen.

Whatever your bent, there are things about reform that are hard to argue, such as:

  • Insurance for all
  • An emphasis on health and wellness that will benefit patients and providers
  • Reimbursement tied to quality, not numbers of procedures

But that’s not stopping people from trying to change the system.

In related news, officials in several states, including Washington, Texas, and South Carolina, have publicly pitched the idea of dropping out of the Medicaid program. States are calculating whether they are better off dropping the program and matching funds and designing their own.

Then another wrinkle was added. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Scott Brown (R-MA) Empowering States to Innovate legislation would allow states to devise their own healthcare overhauls. Under this proposal, if states can find ways to cover as many of their people as the federal plan, without adding to the deficit, they would receive from the government the same amount they are promised by the current Act.

Bruce Yarwood, outgoing president of the American Health Care Association, reacted this way to the Medicaid idea – “Access to quality care would be decimated, facility job losses would be rampant, and already low state Medicaid rates could not possibly support the ongoing care needs of a rapidly aging population.”

I don’t think states have the resources to figure out a new program while they’re administering the current. And further I believe that patients/clients will start falling through the cracks as a result.

Whatever your stance, at the very least become informed. Contact your state legislators. Find out what is going on. Talk with your colleagues and your competitors. Make sure your appropriate state and national association is tuned in as well.

You still have a business to run under the present circumstances, rules, and regulations. That is the only certainty anyone has at the moment. So don’t forsake your business by getting caught up in the rhetoric. Stay focused. Stay informed.

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